Gm European Sales Grow Thanks to Korean-built Chevrolet

By: Michelle Crimson

Reuters reported that General Motors said on Monday its sales has exceeded the broader European car market in the first half as a flux in demand for its Korean-built Chevrolet brand cars remunerate a huge decline in Saab sales. All Saab cars come with top of the line .

To a record of 1,127,871 units, GM Europe increased vehicle sales by 5.3 percent. Figures were given by the European division of the U.S. car making group in a statement. Market share rose by three-tenths of a percentage point resulting to 9.6 percent. However, the total comparable market grew by only 2.1 percent.

Jonathan Browning, GM Europe's vice president for sales and marketing, said that the company's different strategies for Western and Eastern Europe are allowing them to maintain sales growth while also pursuing to better enhance their revenue performance as well as the overall quality of their sales.

As car buyers in central and Eastern Europe drove to the low-price Chevy brand, GM boosted unit sales by 10.3 percent to 214,918 vehicles in June.

GM Europe said that June marked the 50th consecutive record month for Chevrolet, with its line up of affordable cars such as the Nubira, Matiz and Kalos previously sold under GM's Korean Daewoo brand.

During the first half, Chevy sales climbed 34 percent resulting to 215,315 units. As an aftermath, there was an easy outweighing of a 10.7 percent decline in sales for its struggling Swedish brand Saab to just 45,275 cars.

By a marginal 0.8 percent, the bigger mid-market Opel/Vauxhall brands grew sales to 863,303 vehicles. It was spurred by a 50 percent increase in sales of its reinvented Corsa subcompact, which comprises over a quarter of sales for the two sister nameplates.

GM Europe also distributes Cadillacs, Hummers and Corvettes to customers but their combined first-half sales amounted to just a fraction of a percent for the division.

Meanwhile, General Motors Corp said Monday that it is extending a range of sales incentives that would include zero-percent finance offers on pickup trucks beginning Tuesday and running through the rest of July.

GMC, which reported a 24-percent drop in U.S. sales in June and now the second biggest car maker after Toyota, said that dealers will be informed of the new incentive program on Monday evening.

The automaker said that the sale offers also include some subsidies for existing GM lease customers who are trading in older vehicles for 2007 models that include the Envoy and Rainier.

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